Do you want to be a bestselling author? Achieving bestseller status can seem like a pipe dream, but in the age of digital self-publishing, it doesn’t have to be so elusive. With the right knowledge, you have all you need to make your book the next chart-topping success, and that can only mean good things for your author brand! Let’s find out how it’s done.
Focus on keywords
When it comes to online marketing, keywords are everything. These provide both Amazon and Google algorithms with the information they need to identify and categorize your book, which informs the contexts in which your book is presented to potential buyers.
It’s impossible to talk about keywords without also talking about search engine optimization, otherwise known as SEO. In short, SEO is a digital marketer’s staple. By becoming aware of commonly searched terms in your book’s niche or subject area and including these terms in your title, subtitle, or product description, you can direct organic (unpaid) traffic to your book’s online listings, increasing the number of people who will see your book and have the opportunity to purchase a copy.
Like Google and other search engines, Amazon relies on keywords to understand what your book is about and which searchers it might be relevant to. This means that choosing the right keywords for your book is a big part of directing sales traffic to your product listing.
To get the most out of your digital copy, research and identify the keywords that members of your target audience often search when looking for products like your book, and aim to incorporate some of these terms in your title, subtitle, or book description.
Imagine you’re publishing a children’s picture book about the life cycle of a butterfly. “Butterfly,” “life cycle,” “insect,” “STEM,” and “picture book” are just some of the keyword choices that might help readers interested in your book’s genre and topic discover it online, so it would be helpful to include at least some of these terms in your listings.
Choose the right categories
Amazon’s categories play an important role in determining which books achieve bestseller status and which books exist in an overcrowded market. Amazon has over 500 book categories for authors and publishers to choose from, and you can select up to 10 of them. If you want your book to be a bestseller, it’s a good idea to make use of as many of these as possible.
Amazon’s book categories, like keywords, help the Amazon algorithm decide which audiences to show your book’s listing to. The more categories your book belongs to, the more exposure it’s likely to receive. But there’s a little more to it than simply picking a few categories and hitting publish. Choosing the right categories is essential in helping your book on its way to becoming a bestseller.
Not all Amazon categories are created equal. Naturally, some categories—often broad categories like children’s fiction, dystopian fiction, or contemporary rom-com—are more saturated than others. This doesn’t mean it’s bad thing to select a popular category for your book; these categories exist for good reason and are important in ensuring that your book’s tone and genre are accurately represented. It just means that you should include a good mix of categories—both popular and less so—to increase your chances of earning bestseller status.
There are two key benefits to selecting a few less-common book categories on Amazon. Firstly, your book will be more likely to show up in category searches if the category you’ve chosen isn’t overcrowded; this will help boost discoverability. Secondly, in a less-crowded category, your book will have less competition. This lowers the sales threshold required for a coveted bestseller banner.
Returning to the example of the picture book about a butterfly’s life cycle, you could consider a few category options. For the best results, you’ll combine high-popularity categories like “Children’s Fiction” and “STEM Books” with lower-traffic categories like “Children’s Zoology Books” and “Children’s Bug and Spider Books.”
Pick the right price point
Money, money, money. We’ve talked about it before, and we’ll talk about it again. Price is a big part of any sales strategy because it plays a key role in most purchasing decisions.
When setting a price point for your book, it’s important to ensure that your pricing expectations are realistic. Your book should cost enough to cover your expenses and earn you royalties, but it shouldn’t be so expensive that it prices itself out of the market.
Most buyers love a bargain. If you can afford to run limited-time promo deals on your book, these can be an effective strategy when it comes to generating enough traffic to turn you into a bestselling author. When curating bestseller lists, Amazon doesn’t take things like price points into account, so if you can boost your sales with a great discount, you’ll be well on your way to topping the Amazon charts in your chosen categories.
Make marketing your mission
Good marketing has the power to make or break your book sales expectations, so it’s important to plan ahead and craft a fantastic marketing strategy.
From networking with other writers to running ads, setting up launch teams, working with influencers, and more, there are plenty of things you can do to share the news of your book with the world.
If you’d like to learn more about marketing a self-published book, check out our 10 Marketing Ideas for Self-Published Children’s Authors.
What steps will you be taking to help your book achieve bestseller status? Share them in the comments below!
At Wildflower Books, we offer a range of editing and proofreading services. We specialize in children’s fiction, from picture books and YA novels, and have helped many authors create fantastic books. If you’d like to learn more about your editing options, we’d love to hear from you. Send us an email today!